Community benefit? They’re having a laugh!

This week the press seem to have decided that fracking is all about “community benefits”. Scratch just a little at this nasty little scab and you will see that it covers the festering reality that fracking is going to be so unacceptable that they have to bribe us – and they think they can do it without trying too hard!

To quote Peter Lilley:

So now we need to give those living in the areas where drilling may take place an incentive to look critically at environmentalist propaganda. A cut in their energy bills should do the trick.

Such certainty Peter but such rubbish. It’s not “environmentalist propaganda” you have to worry about but an increasingly well informed public who won’t sell their birthright to you or our pals in the energy industry.

Here is another of the usual suspects, Simon Walker of the Institute of Directors blowing hard in the FT

Sir, It is absolutely vital for the development of Britain’s shale gas industry that local communities share in the financial benefits

There are several potential routes to ensure this happens. Pennsylvania, for example, charges a $45,000 “impact fee” for each shale gas well, which is split between the state government and county and municipal authorities. In the UK, it is also worth considering adapting the Community Benefits Protocol, launched two years ago for onshore wind developments, which guarantees a minimum annual payment per megawatt of installed capacity for the lifetime of the project…

Simon Walker, Director General, Institute of Directors, London SW1, UK

Let’s just think about that shall we?

With a $45,000 impact fee per well and 800 wells that would make $36,000,000 or £23,000,000. If that sounds a lot consider that the population of Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and Ribble Estuary is about 385,000 and it works out at about £60 a head. How desperate does he think we are?

That’s probably not even enough to buy a mess of pottage at the West End restaurants next to his office.

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